4 the World blog

Empowering collaborative communities

Poor, Who Says?

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children laughing in Belize

Children in Belize playing a game with 4 the World volunteers.

Wealth, worth, riches.  What do these words really mean?  Would you rather be without monetary wealth or without physical health?  Would you rather have joy or cash?  I’d rather be hungry but happy than rich in resources but poor in spirit.

My goal for economic development is not to help people make money.  Sound weird?  I don’t care how much money a person has, I care how much hope they have.  The point of economic development for me is to provide real opportunities that give people a chance to follow their dreams.  Living with hope makes living worthwhile.  When I look at Gallup’s results of the happiness survey, the top 15 countries are not the 15 most financially well-off.  We know money doesn’t buy happiness, so why push money?  My goal is to eliminate poverty, but I define poverty not as the absence of money but as the absence of  hope.

So what does money buy?  Money does buy education, health care, and security, all of which contribute to happiness in the present and hope for the future.  I’m not saying money isn’t important, I’m just saying money isn’t the goal.  When I look at the orphans at Love Children’s Home, they have no material possessions, but because they reside in a place of faith, hope, and love, they have more joy than many of the American children I have taught that live in a culture of resentment, entitlement, and discontentment.


Author: 4 the World

4 the World identifies and collaborates with communities across the globe to empower them to identify and solve the most pressing needs of their communities within the areas of health and education. By partnering with the communities in these areas, we provide critical support and capacity-building initiatives to ensure these communities are capable of continuing to grow and thrive in the future.

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